Grass Valley and Nevada City to consider banning July 4 fireworks |

Grass Valley and Nevada City to consider banning July 4 fireworks

Both Grass Valley and Nevada City have called special meetings at their respective city halls at 5 p.m. Monday to decide whether to ban the use of fireworks within the two cities on July 4 this year, officials from the two cities told The Union on Friday.

Grass Valley Fire Chief Jim Marquis suspended all fireworks sales permits issued by the City of Grass Valley Thursday. Nevada City officials had already banned the sale of fireworks within the city earlier this year.

The numerous wildfires across the state have prompted both cities to consider banning fireworks this year in the area. It’s also uncertain if the fireworks show at the county fairgrounds will take place at all, organizers said Friday.

“We are waiting for input from the state fire marshal on Monday,” said Mary Anne Mueller, CEO of the Nevada County/Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“If the fire marshall says, ‘No fireworks at the fairgrounds,’ we’ll have nothing at the fairgrounds,” Cathy Whittlesey, executive manager with the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

If the fireworks finally do take place at the fairgrounds, there won’t be parking spaces due to the fire camp at the same venue, Whittlesey said.

“We have to work out an alternative and see if it’s feasible,” said Howard Levine, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association. The idea of using shuttles is being considered, Levine said.

A number of Grass Valley non-profits benefit from the selling fireworks every year. They include Sierra Christian Academy, the Nevada Union High School band, the Nevada Union High School choir, the Lyman Gilmore Band Boosters, Chicago Park 4-H Club, Calvary Bible Church, New Covenant Baptist Church and the Truth Worship Center, according to Jeff Wagner, fire inspector with the Grass Valley Fire Department.

The Lyman Gilmore band program raises about $5,000 each year from the sale of fireworks, Principal Brian Buckley said.

“We’ve spent about $1,000 in sales permits according to our band director,” Buckley said. “We are hoping the city will return us those fees.”

The Lyman Gilmore band gets fireworks from vendors who get a certain percentage from the sales, Buckley said.

“So the inventory isn’t the issue, it’s the up-front money that’s already been paid,” he said.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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